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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 11, 2015 11:42 AM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protection of Utility Line Workers
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that would amend Title 75 (Vehicles) to include electric cooperative and utility personnel as emergency responders during declared disaster emergencies.

Currently, there is a defined list of emergency service responders who are given specific protections during emergencies and when directing protected traffic in hazardous areas in order to keep drivers and emergency workers safe at the scene. Examples of emergency service responders include:
  • Police officer
  • Firefighter
  • Ambulance personnel
  • Highway maintenance and construction personnel
  • Emergency medical services personnel
  • Towing and recovery personnel
Title 75 provides for drivers to pass an emergency response area carefully following traffic markers, road flares, signs, or directions of emergency responders and requires all drivers to travel cautiously at reduced speeds. Additionally, these emergency service responders may file a written report with a police officer when observing a violation within an emergency response area. Failure of a driver to adhere to requirements under this section results in a summary offense, and shall, upon conviction, pay a fine of no more than $500, and will be required to pay any restitution in the amount equal to the cost of damages due to the driving violation.

In addition, this legislation will define electric cooperative and utility personnel as emergency service responders during the first seventy-two hours after a declared emergency or until the expiration of a declared emergency, whichever is later.

This legislation will be the same as House Bill 1246 PN 3277 of the previous legislative session.

Introduced as SB765